Headbanging

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Death metal band Asphyx headbanging during a performance.

Headbanging is violently shaking the head in time with the music, most commonly in the rock, punk and heavy metal music genres.

Origin[edit]

The origin of the term "headbanging" is contested. It is possible that the term "headbanger" was coined during Led Zeppelin's first US tour in 1969.[1] During a show at the Boston Tea Party, audience members in the first row were banging their heads against the stage in rhythm with the music.

Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath are among the first documented headbangers, as it is possible to see on a band's concert in Paris, 1970.[2]

Lemmy from Motörhead, however, said in an interview on the documentary The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years, that the term "Headbanger" may have originated in the band's name, as in "Motorheadbanger".

Ian Gillan, frontman of Deep Purple, when asked if he invented headbanging, said: "That’s a definite possibility", although he claimed that "it was not really head banging — more hair floating".[3]

The practice itself and its association with the rock genre was popularized by guitarist Angus Young of the band AC/DC.[4]

Dave Tyo of Bipolar demonstrating the 'whiplash' technique at CBGB in New York City.

Health issues[edit]

In 2005, Terry Balsamo, Evanescence guitarist, incurred a stroke from headbanging.[5]

In 2007, former Moloko vocalist Roisin Murphy suffered an eye injury during a performance of her song "Primitive" when she headbanged into a chair on stage.[6]

In 2009, Slayer bassist/vocalist Tom Araya began experiencing spinal problems due to his aggressive form of headbanging, and had to undergo anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.[7][8]

In 2011, Megadeth guitarist Dave Mustaine said that his neck and spine condition, known as stenosis was caused by many years of headbanging.[9]

Slipknot Sampler Craig Jones once suffered from whiplash after an extended case of powerful headbanging.


See also[edit]

References[edit]